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Author Topic: Reccomendations please  (Read 11045 times)

andrewwski

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Reccomendations please
« on: October 19, 2007, 03:37:17 PM »

Hello,

I'm looking to purchase two security cameras as well as a VCR commander and motion sensors.  I think the VCR commander II should work, along with the reccomended motion sensors, but I'd like to know what cameras would be best.

I need two cameras that will work well in low light, such as night time.  This is a very remote place and there is almost no external light.  There will be one motion light with two 100 watt halogen bulbs shining on the area, however, I'm unsure as to whether that is enough for some cameras.

Color or black/white is fine.  Color would be a nice bonus but is not essential by any means.  Wireless would also be a nice bonus, but also is not essential by any means either.

I was looking at one of the X-10 low-light cameras but reviews seemed to be pretty poor.  What cameras work well?  They can, but do not have to be X-10, but they must work with the X-10 VCR Commander.

Or...after further searching...are any of the VCR commanders even worth it?  Do they work reliably at all?
« Last Edit: October 19, 2007, 03:40:18 PM by andrewwski »
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HA Dave

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Re: Reccomendations please
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2007, 06:49:57 PM »

I don't own the WideEye Camera (wireless) but I hear it's even better in low light than the NightWatch2 Low-Light Wired Camera which I do own.

X10 products are great and they work fine, I am a BIG fan!

There are people at the forum that sometimes get frustrated when setting up their systems. They vent their frustrations (and trash X10) here at the forums. The more complicated the setup... the less out-of-box the setup. I can't recall anyone at the forums that asked for help.... that didn't get their system setup and running.

Look for deals when shopping at X10.com. Have fun!
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Charles Sullivan

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Re: Reccomendations please
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2007, 07:27:13 PM »

Hello,

I'm looking to purchase two security cameras as well as a VCR commander and motion sensors.  I think the VCR commander II should work, along with the reccomended motion sensors, but I'd like to know what cameras would be best.

I need two cameras that will work well in low light, such as night time.  This is a very remote place and there is almost no external light.  There will be one motion light with two 100 watt halogen bulbs shining on the area, however, I'm unsure as to whether that is enough for some cameras.

Color or black/white is fine.  Color would be a nice bonus but is not essential by any means.  Wireless would also be a nice bonus, but also is not essential by any means either.

I was looking at one of the X-10 low-light cameras but reviews seemed to be pretty poor.  What cameras work well?  They can, but do not have to be X-10, but they must work with the X-10 VCR Commander.

Or...after further searching...are any of the VCR commanders even worth it?  Do they work reliably at all?

From what you describe of the illumination level, I doubt any of the inexpensive low-light X-10 cameras will work for you unless your motion detectors turn on some fairly bright flood lamps.  The X-10 Sentinel cameras ($$$) are supposed to work under very low light conditions.  Perhaps someone who has one (hint, hint) can comment.


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andrewwski

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Re: Reccomendations please
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2007, 10:46:06 PM »

The lights are motion lights...two 100 watt halogen floodlight bulbs.

I'm OK with spending the money if it's worth it.  If I'm going to pay a lot and not get the performance I'm not going to be happy.  Do I have to use X-10 cameras with the X-10 controller, or would other brands work?
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HA Dave

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Re: Reccomendations please
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2007, 11:10:14 PM »


I'm OK with spending the money if it's worth it. 


The Sentinel is well Worth the money! It is a top of the line security camera... no matter what brand you look at.



Do I have to use X-10 cameras with the X-10 controller, or would other brands work?


No. I have intergraded other cameras into my X10 system. But... it will be much more difficult to build a system without X10. And even the tiny little X10 cams are darn nice cameras. Its really kinda hard to advise. So many people use the cams for so many different reasons.... and with greatly varying expections. I generally recommend a person get an X10 cam DEAL. It a great place to jump-in to cameras.
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spam4us

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Re: Reccomendations please
« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2007, 12:08:41 PM »

look on YouTube.  Search for x10 camera. Here's a link to one taken at night. There are regular x10 commercials out there also but I don't think they truly represent what an X10 camera can do at night with just a 100W bulb.  To get a good low light camera, you need to look at the CCD infrared cameras.

here's a link for you tube

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3au60amoaQ

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andrewwski

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Re: Reccomendations please
« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2007, 12:21:10 PM »

OK, thanks everyone.

I'm wondering what the area was like when that video was taken.  How far away was it from the scene, and what kind of lighting was present?

There will be some lighting, as stated.  I don't know if it will be enough however.

What are the complications with non-X10 cameras?  Couldn't I substitute any wired camera (albeit with a bit of cut and splice)?

Does X-10 make any good IR cameras, or are there any good ones from other brands that I should look for?

Nothing really has to be X-10, but so far they're the only one's I've found that offer motion controlled VCR recording.  If I could use their system with better cameras, I'd do that too.
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andrewwski

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Re: Reccomendations please
« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2007, 12:40:57 PM »

After further searching it, there's no way I'm getting X-10 cameras.  Their reviews on the internet are terrible.  Their better ones don't seem to compete with other cameras in the same price range.

I'd still like to use the X-10 VCR commander II and motion sensors.  Is there a way I could do this wtih other camears?
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Charles Sullivan

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Re: Reccomendations please
« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2007, 02:16:20 PM »

I'd still like to use the X-10 VCR commander II and motion sensors.  Is there a way I could do this wtih other camears?

The VCR Commander just starts and stops the recording mode on your VCR.   The only considerations are that the camera you choose can be tied into your VCR and that the VCR Commander is within range of the motion detector.

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HA Dave

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Re: Reccomendations please
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2007, 03:24:55 PM »


After further searching it, there's no way I'm getting X-10 cameras.  Their reviews on the internet are terrible. 


Who is writting these reviews, X10 competitors? I own several cams... both X10 and other brands. I don't think you will find a better OUTSIDE durable camera than X10, at close to the same price. I know.... because I've tried.
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zach1234

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Re: Reccomendations please
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2007, 03:33:44 PM »

The VCR Commander is not a good start.
 Wasnt for me!!!
« Last Edit: June 18, 2008, 02:44:27 PM by Zach1234 »
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HA Dave

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Re: Reccomendations please
« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2007, 05:23:32 PM »

But os far as the cameras go they work 75% of how x10 discribes them (graney picture) if you are of with lines in the pictures then go with the x10 camera.

Refer to:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3au60amoaQ&mode=related&search=X10%20camera%20security


Surprised you picked that link.... why not one of these:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NihyBWDa-Jc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dy8hPmdccbU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROtgWkPHCwk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXQjypcYGcw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7x5pt3n87L8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=soyls51vbtk

All [say they're] X10, all are posted on YouTube.

Of course your right about VHS tape... it doesn't record at the quality we expect today. Hense your link.... that video was recorded to VHS... then further compressed to WMV to load to YouTube. However the VCR commander can also cause DVD Recorders to record. And DVD Recorders have dropped greatly in price.


« Last Edit: October 20, 2007, 05:39:58 PM by Dave_x10_L »
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Puck

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Re: Reccomendations please
« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2007, 07:13:25 PM »

Of course your right about VHS tape... it doesn't record at the quality we expect today.

Exactly Dave.

Another option to a DVR is a TV card with an IR interface for your PC. They are inexpensive now and have much better quality than a VHS tape. I have been using one for 2 years now with my security cameras with a VCR Commander to activate the record. Very reliable. Plus unlike VHS, you can quickly scan the videos without the horizontal lines.

You can choose the recording resolution as well, but anything greater than the resolution of the camera is not necessary. VCD mode is the best match that I found for X10 cameras.

Another plus to recording on a PC is the ability to access the recordings via the internet (e.g. with an ftp or web server). Of course, this is if you don't use a VA11A and X10's video software.
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HA Dave

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Re: Reccomendations please
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2007, 07:56:25 PM »

YES Puck!

The options here are limited....... only by our imaginations!

And there is NOTHING wrong with VCR's! Most people have one laying around gathering dust... making the cost $0. Sure the video may be a bit grainy... especially at night with very low light. However..... I know of one user that caught a vandal using a VCR.


I did catch my neighbor in the act, on tape!!!  He got a citation!!!  Yeah!!! ........


I like emailing video sippits, with tape as a back-up.

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andrewwski

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Re: Reccomendations please
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2007, 08:01:35 PM »

I'd still like to use the X-10 VCR commander II and motion sensors.  Is there a way I could do this wtih other camears?

The VCR Commander just starts and stops the recording mode on your VCR.   The only considerations are that the camera you choose can be tied into your VCR and that the VCR Commander is within range of the motion detector.

Thanks...after reading the very vague manual that's what I came to ocnclude too.  In which case it should work fine.  Unfortunately I'd only be able to do one camera per VCR, not switching, but VCR's are so cheap I'd just use two.


After further searching it, there's no way I'm getting X-10 cameras.  Their reviews on the internet are terrible.  


Who is writting these reviews, X10 competitors? I own several cams... both X10 and other brands. I don't think you will find a better OUTSIDE durable camera than X10, at close to the same price. I know.... because I've tried.

Seems like every place I check such as CNet and other review sites, they're rated pretty badly.  While I'm sure everyone has different opinions and their results may differ, I'm having a hard time making a purchase of a product that I'm skeptical about.

The VCR Commander is not a good start. I would buy a DVR at frys.com But os far as the cameras go they work 75% of how x10 discribes them (graney picture) if you are of with lines in the pictures then go with the x10 camera.

Refer to:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3au60amoaQ&mode=related&search=X10%20camera%20security

Yes, I know a DVR would definitely be better, but a VCR seems like it would be a good starting point for this situation.  I'm not looking for anything elaborate right now...just something more casual that still produces a decent image.  And as stated, you can get a DVD Recorder pretty cheap.  A DVR may be a future purchase, but right now I'm trying to stick with the VCR.

But os far as the cameras go they work 75% of how x10 discribes them (graney picture) if you are of with lines in the pictures then go with the x10 camera.

Refer to:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3au60amoaQ&mode=related&search=X10%20camera%20security


Surprised you picked that link.... why not one of these:

<SNIP to save space>

All [say they're] X10, all are posted on YouTube.

Of course your right about VHS tape... it doesn't record at the quality we expect today. Hense your link.... that video was recorded to VHS... then further compressed to WMV to load to YouTube. However the VCR commander can also cause DVD Recorders to record. And DVD Recorders have dropped greatly in price.




Most of those videos are daytime.

Of course your right about VHS tape... it doesn't record at the quality we expect today.

Exactly Dave.

Another option to a DVR is a TV card with an IR interface for your PC. They are inexpensive now and have much better quality than a VHS tape. I have been using one for 2 years now with my security cameras with a VCR Commander to activate the record. Very reliable. Plus unlike VHS, you can quickly scan the videos without the horizontal lines.

You can choose the recording resolution as well, but anything greater than the resolution of the camera is not necessary. VCD mode is the best match that I found for X10 cameras.

Another plus to recording on a PC is the ability to access the recordings via the internet (e.g. with an ftp or web server). Of course, this is if you don't use a VA11A and X10's video software.


This isn't an option as it's going to be at a remote cabin with no internet access (or computer for that matter).
« Last Edit: October 20, 2007, 08:03:59 PM by andrewwski »
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